Albany man gives back to city he loves to earn Jefferson Award
FOX 31 continues to honor our local heroes with the Jefferson Awards.
The Jefferson Award is the nation’s longest standing and most prestigious organization dedicated to celebrating public service.
Ervin Fulton is February's recipient. Ever since he was a kid, Fulton knew Albany was the place for him.
"This is one city I've always wanted to live in, so I told my mom, 'Once I've got the chance, this is where I want to live at,'" he said.
Since then, Fulton has worked to give back to this city. Much of it comes through his fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma. Fulton serves as their Christmas clothing drive coordinator, and for the past 20 years, he has collected donations throughout the year and helped hundreds of people at their December giveaway.
"Some years are not as fortunate as other years, but I always tell myself, as long as I can help somebody, I feel that I've done my job," he said.
Fulton also works with the fraternity's Thanksgiving basket and turkey giveaway each November.
There's no question why he does it.
"It's just gratifying to see the faces of people that come up to thank you," he said. "And I hadn't done anything. It's just something that we've all been put on the earth to do, is helping everybody."
This all comes on top of an already busy schedule.
"I work at Georgia Industries for the Blind in Bainbridge, Georgia, and I have to get up every morning around 4:30 and leave around 6:30 in order to get there by 8," he said. "Then I get off, and like this past week was really hectic because the Easter programs we've been having."
Those were at Mount Zion Baptist Church, where Fulton is an active member through Bible study, singing in the choir and other church events, like the Easter play.
"We always have a good time there," he said. "Everybody is nice to me, nice to me and my family. There's no big I's and little you's. Everybody is real cordial and real nice."
But Fulton's not stopping there. Right now, he's working to start an after-school program for foster and homeless teens in Albany.
"They don't have any place to go to do their homework. You have kids here in shelters, and you don't know where they go after they get out of school," he said.
Fulton also wants to help them with life outside school.
"To show them the proper way of job interviews, dressing, do resumes, having speakers come in and speak to them about what is right and what is wrong as far as the world is concerned," he said.
Now that Fulton has made it to the Good Life City, he is making it even better.
"I've always prided myself, if anybody asks me, 'Where are you from?' I tell them, 'Albany, Georgia,'" he said.
If you know an unsung hero in Southwest Georgia that deserves recognition, tell us about them here.